Family assets are the most valuable resource to be protected over time. Financial assets, houses, company businesses, shares, jewelry, boats, works of art, collections, and other family objects accumulated over time, often for several generations, are currently the most complicated to manage as a unit and are even more difficult to protect over time so they can be handed down to future generations.Insight: The Trust, the ultimate tool for genrational transfers
There are many tools available. Trusts are definitely the most structured and safest tools that ensure the best protection. This British instrument is the offspring of the flexible and pragmatic Anglo-Saxon legal system based on centuries-old common law, when, during remote missions, rulers ceded the management of their properties to trustees who would look after it until their return or hand it over to the designated beneficiaries in the event of their death.
In short, a trust is a simple yet complex arrangement in which the owner of movable or immovable property, known as the settlor, disposes of it and entrusts its care and management to a trusted entity, the Trustee, with the possible supervision of a Protector, in view of a well-defined objective and in favor of one or more beneficiaries. There are many possible variants and clauses, strictly set out in writing, with distinctive features depending on the jurisdiction in which the trust is registered and, essentially, the country in which the settlor and beneficiary have residency for tax purposes.
The primary advantages are:
Segregation: the assets contained in the Trust are separate from those of the settlor. No creditor can make a claim against assets held in the Trust. Moreover, the assets conferred are not subject to forfeiture or seizure and are, therefore, unassailable.
Flexibility: The trust may be used for different adaptable and customizable purposes, including the governance and protection of a company, succession and generational transfer of a company, regulating relationships between shareholders in order to standardize uneven corporate structures as an alternative to shareholders' agreements, safeguarding family relationships, safeguarding and protecting company assets, preserving and protecting them for the future, for a specific purpose or in order to achieve a goal or interest that benefits a majority of subjects. Last but not least, the Trust is often used for philanthropic or charity purposes.
The VECO Group, a trailblazer in using this tool, has Trustee companies throughout the world, including in Liechtenstein, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. In 2017 it established VECO Trustee SA Switzerland with the intention of offering Swiss trust solutions ensuring proximity to Swiss families who use this instrument and for those international clients who are interested in taking advantage of the benefits that a Swiss Trust can offer.